Night three of the American Ninja Warrior Qualifiers brought the return of well-loved veteran Grant McCartney. It also brought a swift end to his season.
Grant overshot one of the leaps on the fourth obstacle, Air Surfer. It marked any early fall on a Qualifying course for him. At the time, it landed him in 28th position, but by the time the night was done, he was bumped from the top 30.
Before his run, we asked Grant what’s changed for him since season 12. The answer might provide a hint as to the cause behind his early fall.
“I’ve grown a beard. A very good beard (laughs). I’ve also gained some weight doing CrossFit and heavy lifting. I always cut (weight) for Ninja. They’re always talking about ‘Oh, he’s so big! He’s not going to make it!’ It does factor. But this year I decided I’m going to be as fit as I can be at the weight I am.”
The decision to come into the competition with a different strategy could have played into his error. More mass could have given him more momentum than expected as he calculated the jump on Air Surfer. But honestly, Grant had a more laid-back mentality about the whole thing this year.
“I hope I just feel good,” He told us before his run. “I want to be proud of what I’m in. The suit I’m in feels good even if it’s heavier. I’m actually feeling mentally and physically really well. If we have really tiny cliffhangers and things, that could factor in a lot.
I just want to be happy with how I am. I am a bigger competitor. I’m not going to try to change who I naturally am. I’m going to remember to have fun. You are who you are. Go out and have fun.”
Grant may be done for season 13, but we have a feeling he’s still smiling.